The Fall Smoker - David's Briar Shop Des Moines

Later this month, David's Briar Shop is having its "Fall Smoker".  It's happening on Thursday, September 28 @ 6:30PM at the Embassy Club - 40th floor.

I wrote about the spring event held last March.  I've linked to the menu that includes the selection of cigars, spirits, and food that will be offered.  I'm especially anxious to try the quail.  This is a wonderful location atop the tallest building in downtown Des Moines. 

I'd encourage all of you Des Moines metro locals to come on out and have a good time at this event.  Spread the word and get your reservations in early, the event fills up fast.

Onyx Reserve Torbusto

This cigar has a very balanced flavor...probably due in large part to its oily and delicious wrapper.  The shape is a hybrid and I can best describe the stick as having a "bulbous mid-section" that I like to call the "welcome to flavor country nodule" because when you hit this section...the true flavors really start to purr.

The smoke was rich and full containing chocolate and cherry notes.  This cigar has very little "twang" on your tongue and a quite desirable aftertaste as compared to some sticks. 

I knew it would be a bad pairing, but I had 1/2 of a bottle of Estancia Cabernet left over and had to try them.  Not good.  Now pair that cab with a massive rib-eye and you're good. 

The only big downer for this cigar was that I really had to work at drawing the smoke out.  It was a bit too tight.  If that's the case with the whole box, I'll be disappointed. 

Legal Cuban Cigars...Get Out The Platinum Card

An article today on tells you everything you need to know about finding legal Cubans  and how much they'll set you back.  A must read for aficionados. 

NEW YORK (FORTUNE) - Everyone knows Cuban cigars are illegal in the United States, thanks to the embargo on Fidel Castro's goods.

But what you might not know is that Americans can legally enjoy Cubans thanks to a loophole - if the cigars left Cuba before the embargo was imposed in 1962, they're perfectly fine to smoke and sell.

Corn Fed and Shade Grown

A short time ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the "Winter Smoker" put on by a local cigar shop here in Des Moines.  It was held at the Principal Financial Tower downtown...and at the Embassy Club.  Very swanky.  Great views, etc.  When we exited the elevator, I felt my wife's pulse jump since there were no females within site.  As we got closer to the registration table, it was clear that we were at a 98% dude event.  Never fear.  The chance for us to be out together period is rare so we took full advantage.  I gave her tidbits of knowledge about the smokes we had and like a trooper, she took it all in.  Flip the tables and put me in a 98% female event doing a distinctly female activity (you fill in)...and I'd be headed for the door.

This event highlighted something very special about Des Moines for me....the crowd mix.  We sat a table with teachers, farmers, meat processors, and attorneys.  The table behind me had a local TV personality.  It was really a neat feeling.  As we devoured our Iowa tenderloins of both beef and pork, we probed the farmer at our table to allow a "tour" for our family.  Since it's simply work for him, he couldn't really understand what California City Slickers would get out of slogging around Hogs and such...but he invited us to come out.

As we puffed away on Cusano Robustos with 18 year old double Connecticut shade grown wrappers, we chatted and belly laughed the night away.  It was wonderful.  It brought a distinct sense of peace to know that we moved to a wonderful place where farmers and TV types kibbutz together over scotch and fine smoke. 

Few things bring the world together like beef, scotch, and cigars.